Anyone ever notice how there’s the occasional content in a kid’s show that maybe was a bit on the mature side, whether it be dark in atmosphere or risqué? Well, I’ve been marathoning my favourite episodes of Batman TAS…again, and I can’t help but notice several moments that clearly slipped through the cracks on that show. Now, keep in mind, this IS a WB cartoon, and we already know how they managed similar situations with Animaniacs (by purposely writing something far worse in the script as a distraction for the editors so that what they actually intended to get through would), but there’s at least one or two of these that…well, you’ll see. Anyway, let’s start off with one of my favourite two-parters in the show…
This is actually one of the situations where I can’t imagine how no one noticed anything wrong with it…and yet actually had a problem with something completely different. In the first part of this episode, wherein the origins of Robin in this universe are elaborated on, we see Batman disguised as a thug and gambling with other thugs while trying to get information on Tony Zucco. Apparently, Batman gambling was controversial for some people. Now, I’m not gonna debate the issues of gambling in a kid’s show, since everyone has their own views on stuff like that. What boggles my mind, though, is that apparently nobody raised an eye when, in the next episode, we see a young Dick Grayson saving a prostitute from her pimp after said pimp finds out she’s been holding onto some of the cash she’s been making and is about to assault her. Um, WHAT??? How was GAMBLING the thing that caught people’s attention and THAT went completely under the radar? Granted, they never actually outright state that she’s a prostitute, but any adult with a brain can tell that’s what’s going on. And what’s really weird is that nobody had a problem with gambling in another episode, Joker’s Wild, where most of the episode took place at a casino! Just a little consistency is all I’m asking for, folks!
Before anyone says anything, I actually really like this episode. It’s a great look into Harley Quinn’s backstory and how/why she became infatuated with the Joker. However, I still don’t know how the hell they managed to get this past the censors. Not only is it pretty explicitly made clear that these two have had sex in the past, but there were SEVERAL instances of domestic abuse in this episode. True, we’ve seen at LEAST hints of that before with Harley and Joker, but now it’s at the forefront of the episode. Now, it’s part of the main driving plot. And it’s not even just her getting it, either. We hear Joker tell a story of how his father beat him as a child and broke his nose. Granted, it’s pretty clear that the Joker is lying to get sympathy (or, if you believe The Killing Joke, that he’s gone SO insane that he can’t remember his real past), but it’s still pretty harsh stuff for the audience to listen to.
If it really is true that they used the Animaniacs trick with this episode, I NEED to see what the original script for this episode looked like. I like to refer to this episode as “Count the Innuendos”. Seriously, just watch this episode and see if you can spot ’em all. And yes, most of them come from Roxy…and yes, that’s kinda why I like her. lol Still, one thing I’ve always tilted my head at is why she chose to become a thief. I get she’s in it for the thrills, but wouldn’t she get the same rush from being a costumed heroine? Granted, I could see Batman still having to bring her in due to how reckless she is, but she’d get the same thrill, and honestly, looking at her two appearances in the entirety of the DCAU, no one ever gets seriously hurt around her. Hell, most of the time, the person in the most danger is HER. Oh, and I should also mention that this is the first appearance of Batgirl’s “sources”…who are very clearly supposed to be prostitutes. I don’t necessarily mind that TOO much. What I DO mind is how one of them is very clearly designed to resemble Black Canary. Thankfully, we got the real Black Canary in Justice League Unlimited, because otherwise, we would’ve been left to assume that she was a prostitute in this universe…which would somehow actually be even worse than her depiction in All-Star Batman and Robin.
Batgirl rides Supergirl… … … … … …Do I even NEED to say anything else? Well, I don’t, but Harley apparently has some comments…
Also, at one point while they’re in flight, you can see Supergirl’s panties… …Dear God. -_-
This one is just all kinds of wrong. And I don’t know who thought it’d be appropriate to keep this in, but I really hope they got smacked up the side of the head for it. The episode is about Baby Doll teaming up with Killer Croc, the former being clearly infatuated with the latter. I would like to remind you all that Baby Doll’s whole gimmick is that she’s an adult woman with a severe form of systemic hypoplasia, meaning she looks like a child. Now, admittedly, because it’s clearly just a one-way thing, and she’s not actually a child but looks and occasionally acts like one (likely due to being locked in that appearance for so long), it’s not AS creepy as it could be… … … …until we see this bit of dialogue.
Yeah, I don’t wanna know either, Batman! What the hell?! o.O I actually even kinda like the episode, but that one exchange of dialogue is just…EW.
But yeah, those are the five that stand out most to me, but it’s not even close to half of them. Wanna read about more? Check out what else they got under the radar at TV Tropes, and be sure to watch the full series if you haven’t yet. If you’re a Batman fan, it’s definitely worth watching. Ja né!